With Glasgow giants Rangers going into liquidation what does the future hold for Scottish football?
It’s a double edged sword for their nearest rivals Celtic; gone are their biggest challengers year in and year out and there isn’t a team to replace them.
There’s an old joke in England about Scottish football; it is Scottish football! But Glasgow Rangers is a huge club; so what went wrong?
The taxman is owed a huge amount of money so it has to be put down to bad management - Scottish Parliament has even called for an inquiry into the matter. The thing this should have been seen coming, and stopped; you don’t just all of a sudden owe millions overnight.
But just like south of the border, the SFA and SPL proved hesitant and reluctant to get involved before it was too late.
I don’t think any blame can go on the players; it’s the club that agrees the contracts, it is purely bad management.
Liquidation means the end of a club that started back in 1899 and has had its fair share of success; but that counts for nothing. Like any business that runs out of money it has to close. Rangers will find a way to rise, their huge fanbase dictates they can't just vanish.
I don’t feel sorry for the owners of the club or even the players; the players will find other employment elsewhere. The people I feel sorry for are the fans.
They are ultimately the people that paid the wages and the only ones that will suffer long term.
When you support one club and one club only how can you be expected to support another? You wouldn’t expect an Arsenal fan to follow Tottenham or a Liverpool fan to follow Everton; it’s exactly the same for Rangers fans.
Rangers can still go on next season if the other SPL teams agree to let them entry into the league. But they will be a shell of a club.
I don’t think it’s the end of Scottish football but I do think it’s a mighty blow; with one of the two major players on its knees.
There isn’t any guarantee that they will be back under a new name either; other clubs have to vote them in so it might not happen. If they do come back, they should surely start at the bottom of the rung rather than going straight back into the SPL.
If it can happen to a big club in Scotland then it can happen in England as well. Big clubs have come close to the brink in recent seasons, Darlington, Crystal Palace and Portsmouth to name a few.
There is big money in football - which will grow with the Premier League's record television deal - but if it isn’t handled in the correct way the clubs could end up in major trouble; as Rangers have proved.
What next for Rangers and Scottish football?
image: © Tom Brogan